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Contemporary Art Gallery

555 Nelson Street
Vancouver, Canada
Closed for installation
until June 7, 2024

Admission always free
23 Apr 24·7:00 PM

In Conversation

Diane Severin Nguyen & X Zhu-Nowell

Faris Family Studio, Scotiabank Dance Centre, 677 Davie Street

Portraits of Diane Severin Nguyen (Photo: Harit Srikhao) and X Zhu-Nowell (Photo: Farah Al Qasimi).


Please join us for a conversation between artist Diane Severin Nguyen and curator X Zhu-Nowell on the occasion of Nguyen's exhibition, If I hadn’t created my own world, I would have died in someone else’s.


Registration for this event is required. Secure your place here.


This event is held in a lower-level space, with elevator access from the lobby. ASL interpretation is available on request. Requests can be accommodated up to 5 days in advance. Please contact to book or for more information.


Diane Severin Nguyen works with photography, video and installation. Through material and sculptural experimentations, Nguyen approaches the photographic moment as one of transformation. The artist is particularly interested in exceeding photography as a mode of documentation, and engages with it rather as a set of conditions shaped by desire and speculation. Her video work narrativizes these tensions by examining the histories of power, victimhood and forms of propaganda that underpin cultural (and self) image-making. She has exhibited her work internationally, in places like SculptureCenter, The Renaissance Society, Rockbund Art Museum, MoMA PS1, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Schinkel Pavilion, Jeu du Paume, the Hammer Museum, and many others. Her films have been screened at film festivals such as the New York Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam and Berlinale. Nguyen is a recent recipient of the 2023 Guggenheim fellowship and lives and works in New York.

X Zhu-Nowell is a curator, writer and institutional leader with an international presence, operating primarily between Shanghai and New York. They are the Artistic Director at the Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai. Their innovative curatorial approach is exemplified in the museum’s 2023 program, which was centered around solo exhibitions and new commissions from six artists from Asia and its diaspora: WangShui, Evelyn Taocheng Wang, Tosh Basco, Diane Severin Nguyen, Shubigi Rao, and Tan Jing. From 2014 to 2022, X Zhu-Nowell was a curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, where their exhibition Wu Tsang: Anthem was celebrated as the best exhibition of 2021 by the New York Times. In 2022, they co-organized the 6th Asian Art Council meeting in Kingston, Jamaica, collaborating with artist Kandis Williams to explore themes of dispossession and hybridity within curatorial practices and the white cube.